Roland DürreSunday April 7th, 2013
At winter’s end (?), I finally caught it myself: the nose started running, the neck hurt, I started coughing. To be sure, I was not totally incapacitated, but still, I felt rather handicapped. It was not a nice phase, and as of now, it is not yet quite over, either.
Of course, I tried to alleviate my ailments. On the whole, I consumed two boxes of cough sweets and a small bottle of “Spitzwegerich”.
The cough syrup came in glass bottles that held 150 ml. The glass bottle had a powerful plastic screw cap and was packed into a cardboard box. It also included a long product description and a measuring container! The measuring container had markings for 5, 10, 15 and 20 ml (millilitres).
Firstly, I tried to follow the manual and pour the appropriate amount into the plastic measuring container, before consuming it. No easy task. To be sure, the measuring container made it possible to give precisely the right amount of fluid, but it was impossible to get all of this sticky substance into my mouth in one go.
Even my otherwise rather agile tongue capitulated before the task. Afterwards, I had to carefully rinse the measuring container, which was all but easy. And then I had to put it back onto the bottle to avoid losing it. It was a really sticky affair.
A spoon is a highly developed and refined tool. Mouth and tongue can easily and completely take up what is in it. It is a tool you can easily clean. During the remaining days of my medication time, I decided in favour of this traditional method.
Why do they even produce nonsense like measuring containers? It is unconceivable that these measuring containers make it possible to actually get the amount absolutely correct, because you never get it all out of the container.
No! It all happens because some fraudulent product designers want to persuade the customer that there is allegedly some advantage to the new method. Isn’t this product designed in ever such a practical and innovative way? The measuring container is a fire signal for the great fake they use to make a fool of the stupid consumer on all levels.
And then I think of all the many millions of stupid plastic measuring containers for cough syrup and similar medication being let loose on our planet in this way.
I chose this example very deliberately, because the plastic container for cough syrup shows on a very small scale how irrational and stupid we act when dealing with our resources. Of course, weighing only three grams (I weighed it), the measuring container is a negligible entity and as such totally “irrelevant”.
But whenever I think of all the masses of plastic containers that are a lot bigger and serve as package material for all kinds of products, it gives me pause. This madness starts with small things and will beat us with big things. Thus, the cough syrup is a good symbol of useless waste, where small waste is justified because it is nothing compared with the big waste. And we are stupid animals for slaughter, who agree with every stupidity. Take the buttermilk out of plastic containers or the Coffee2Go we carry around.
Even if it seems maniacally small-minded to me, I have started to avoid products with too much packaging wherever I can. No more food in plastic containers or tetra-pack, no cosmetics in plastic bottles or pressurized dispenser, no tins and deep-freeze food. These are all things I no longer buy for my personal use.
And you know what – it works quite well! And it does not mean the least bit of impediment for me. On the contrary, it improves my joy in life. Just like, ever since I stopped driving a car, I feel even better than before. Except that the common thoughtlessness I see in many of my contemporaries now hurts even more. Because, after all, I know how I, myself, used to let myself fall victim to all those charms.
Why don’t we just put a stop to this stupidity and combine our forces to fight this industrial mania?
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreSunday March 17th, 2013
Today: communication, mail and messages!
I take calls from everybody at all times. Most of my friends, however, know that you should only call others if you have something really, really important to tell them. Consequently, I have to answer the telephone relatively infrequently. But there are some exceptions . Some people call me more often than strictly necessary. And since those people are very nice people, I forgive them.
But seriously: if it were up to me, I would write quite a few new things on communication in “Etiquette in Society, Business and at Home – 2013”.
For instance, when it comes to the letter C as in “communication”, I would write the following commandments:
- Never call anybody unnecessarily!
- Only use the telephone function of your small, mobile computer when you are in a totally hopeless situation!
- In particular, avoid calling while travelling – no matter if you are walking, riding a bike, driving a car or going by train!
- Only call someone if you have arranged to call beforehand!
- If you cannot avoid calling someone, find out if maybe communicating via Hangout or perhaps Skype is a better alternative!
- And, please, prepare in advance what you want to talk about. Arrange your ideas and have all documents you may need for reference handy before you start dialling!
- And, please, do not be too talkative and long-winded!
Under the letter M like in “Mail” I would formulate as follows:
- Only send an email if there is no better alternative!
- How about re-reading about TOFU!
- If you have to send an email, avoid long footers!
- Avoid at all costs attachments with some strange legally necessary and yet totally useless phrases!
- Wherever possible, send your email only to one recipient!
- If at all, use “cc” only as in the way of sending a “copy to”!
- Never send “bcc”, because it is forbidden!
- Well – and if we are talking one of those ping pong emails: why don’t you just delete all the rubbish and all those footers!
More on the letter M like in “Messages” :
- Wherever possible, avoid SMS!
- If you have to send short messages to people, use the medium preferred by your partner. You might use “What’s App”, FB Messenger, Twitter DM or some such!
- Do not write short messages unnecessarily long!
And here another letter M like in “Miscellaneous” where I would give you basic advice as follows:
- Never think in terms of distribution, but always in terms of communities!
- In communication, too, transparency and openness are the central values!
- Whenever you write about persons, keep in mind that the person concerned might read it!
I am sure you could find more on the subject. And if necessary, I am quite willing to justify every one of the aforementioned points. And in the future, I will also try to adhere to my own rules a little better.
(Translated by EG)
Klaus HnilicaThursday October 25th, 2012
Carl and Gerlinde (XXVIII)
It was like a meteor strike!
At least with respect to how often it happened. In terms of the actual damage done, it was actually initially negligible!
But if you looked at how frequently it happened, it was really as scarce as a meteor strike – which, basically, is no surprise when you are talking a mushroom dish. After all, mushrooms are rather few and far between – and the yellow boletus even more so!
If, however, you included the slime mould ’Physarum polycevalum’ into your considerations, then fungi suddenly were no longer all that scarce; not to mention all those disgusting fungi that seemed to feel comfortable on the most intimate parts of the human body with their mycelia. Nobody could claim they were not itchy!
Still, the fact remains that the slimy protozoon ’Physarum polycevalum’ is a lot more aggravating than all other fungi, because it can practically make its slimy way on the shortest route to all the places in this world without any involvement of brains. In particular, it can go wherever you will find oats. And you really can find oats everywhere, can’t you? Not just in larders, kitchens, drawers and on tiled floors.
But, of course, you could never find them on Gerlinde’s kitchen floor!
Let alone in one of her drawers, because, naturally, this brainless ’slimy’ would never have even the ’slightest chance in the oats‘ world’ where Gerlinde’s cleanliness and orderliness reigned - a fact that went without saying, both in her own and Carl’s opinion.
But – at least so Carl thought – why should that mean that no other fungus must ever appear more often than a meteor in their shared kitchen? Take, for instance, the much-loved-by-Carl yellow boletus Boletus edulis of the giant puffball group. He certainly would not have minded if this species had found its frying and comfortably frizzling way into the sparklingly clean kitchen a little more often over the year. That would definitely have been welcome!
On the contrary!
Well, basically, as a logical conclusion and if you do the probability calculations, it had to happen at some time, didn’t it? So it happened that one Wednesday, when Gerlinde, as she put it, just could no longer resist the almost obscenely displayed yellow boletus at Emmi’s fruit and vegetable stand on the weekly market at H., she actually bought some.
Buying them had practically become a duty since Emmi had already registered how longingly Gerlinde had looked towards the yellow boletus while being served the desired fruit choice of mango, melons, papaya and kiwi. Almost at an aside, Emmi had informed her that Carl, as he had confessed not long ago, liked the yellow boletus ever so much. So Gerlinde really had no choice but to ask the caring Emmi to weigh in a good portion of those obscene yellow boletus for her Carl who was obviously loved by all women. Well, she had better take six hundred gram, Emmi said with a roguish laugh!
Gerlinde even managed to get the wide tagliatelle from the neighboring stall and still be there as promised for a cup of the delicious cappuccino with Hannelore and Kurt at their favorite Italian restaurant before heading home to prepare the mushroom festival for Carl…
Later in the afternoon, when Carl came home from the office surprisingly early and as he just unlocked the door, his very sensitive nose – which, strangely enough, always found its way to the kitchen like a magnet needle found the North Pole – noticed that actually something as fundamental as a meteor strike must have happened: his Gerlinde, who was not known for being particularly enthusiastic about cooking, was busy preparing his favorite dish!
Tonight, he was indeed going to eat – mind you, this was no fata morgana – ’Roasted yellow boletus in cream and wine!
It really seemed almost like Gerlinde had foreseen that this was a day when he would be especially in need of some balm to make him feel better. After all, this had been another one of those days you really want to forget in a hurry. Otherwise he would probably not only have murdered this new anathema Fritz Kogler in cold blood right the next day, but ’Golden Bernie’ , who had seen to it that this ’slimy fungus Kogler’ got into the section ’outerwear’ with sales as his responsibility, along with him.
Mind you, there was nothing basically wrong with Fritz Kogler. Except that, for a man, he was just too handsome, and he knew it, too. And the young female employees were falling for his slimy charm just in the same manner as did scattered oats when confronted with the ’Physarum polycevalum’!
Incidentally, this whole affair had already been going on for three weeks. After all, it had been the wish of Dr. Bernhard Osterkorn that this slimy Fritz should definitely learn about the entire TRIGA company; and the section ’hosiery and knitted articles’ for which Carl was responsible as a salesperson, was definitely part of the whole company.
And it was truly sad that this stupid, very pregnant cow, Miriam Braun, who, after all, had already been ensnared by our ’dear Bernie’ did not notice how this Fritz Kogler kept listening in on her and spinning intrigues all around her!
For Carl, it had been quite obvious after no more than two days that this slimy Fritz was massively pushing towards the ’underwear’ of Miriam Braun. He literally thirsted for her post as soon as she would be on her maternity leave. But the allegedly so clever and worldly Miriam Braun never seemed to notice it. Instead, regardless of her pregnancy, or maybe because of it, she was totally fascinated by the disgusting Fritz.
And that was exactly what promoted ’Bernie‘s’ always brilliantly seedy game: because since Miriam Braun had disappointed him, it was clear that this beast had to be demolished piecewise until she would herself realize that she had been a huge mistake for TRIGA and was no longer needed. So sunshine boy Kogler was exactly what Dr. Osterkorn needed at this time.
But now – back in his home sweet home – Carl’s world was at least in balance for one small moment. His beloved Gerlinde had prepared his favorite meal for him!
It all smelled absolutely heavenly …
Gerlinde, too, exuded some aroma when she came towards him with her happily reddened face; the light and sweet Riesling she had used for the sauce had apparently already had some effect on her…
She was truly excited when, after her deliciously wet welcoming kiss, she told Carl in randomly capricious fashion how it all had happened with these strange mushrooms today. How they had attracted her attention in a truly obscene manner and she had therefore had no choice but to buy them; how she was now truly looking forward to all this mushroomy paradise which, basically, she had not dared to prepare in ages. As this went on, Carl saw himself being more and more compelled to suffer the ever-present multitude of odors wafting through the air. Snuffling with relish, he pushed Gerlinde ever further back into her own, holy kitchen area, directing his own insatiable nose not only towards the frying pan where the first installment of golden-brown delicacies was already comfortably frizzling, but also towards her fleshy, naked arms and her neck until finally reaching her slightly lighter, flimsily soft hairline in acrobatic sniffing manner, while a fidgety Gerlinde, getting less and less focused, tried to turn the brown mushroom slides with her kitchen utensils….
Making use of her last reserves of housewifely instinct, Gerlinde also tried to direct Carl, who wound himself around her in python style, towards the already waiting mortar with the fresh caraway – before, with a shrill outcry and several more noise, this makeshift defense, too, broke down and the more and more stony mushroom glory got mercilessly charred in the frying pan…
The accompanying wads of smoke shortly afterwards not only caused the smoke-detector to activate the siren; they also remained lingering through the entire building for several days, reminding them in a ghostly manner of the events of the day.
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreSunday May 6th, 2012
All through my life, I knew people not to arrive on time. To me, however, it seems that this tendency is now enjoying more popularity than ever.
And why not? After all, there is a perfectly acceptable excuse today – traffic jams on all kinds of streets.
Well, this is an excuse I, as a biker, cannot use. Consequently, I have to think of something more original. Naturally, the unexpected wind from the opposite direction will not suffice if everybody can feel there is no wind.
And in order to sound credible with a puncture, I would first have to soil my fingers, which is not something I want to do.
Mind you, people can be on time, if they only want to. It was again proved to me when I went to see the last concert of the Wise Guys last Friday at the Gasteig (of course, it was again completely sold out). All the seats in the broad carousel are occupied five minutes before the show starts. All of them? No! I actually can see two couples of vacant seats somewhere within my view.
Will the owners of those tickets come? Has something happened to prevent them from coming? Or will they be late? Two of the vacancies are in the second row. Now wouldn’t that be something? Well, not for me, since I have a seat in the first row. But some people sitting further back would certainly appreciate them, wouldn’t they?
The Wise Guys enter the stage and start the concert. Those seats are still vacant. But since the wise guys are truly nice, they pause after 10 minutes and four people are permitted to come to the front and take the good seats.
Well, this Wise Guys concert showed me that people can actually be punctual if only they want to or have to. Even if they go by car. And I have seen the same happen when I went to the theatre or cinema.
It is much the same as with the railway. You have to be at the platform on the dot, even though the train mostly will not be on time. Because if, just once, you are late by two minutes, you can bet that this is the one day when the train will leave on time.
Yet, if you come to see me, you do not have to be punctual.
So what do I do about it?
For me, it is not a terrible thing if people who have an appointment with me are not on time. Because I always have enough work, or else am happy to have a little leisure time.
I also know that for those people who come to see me and are late, I am not less important than the Wise Guys or the theatre or the railway. The fact that they are on time there is just something the system forces them to do. On the other hand, their not being punctual when they come to see me is socially acceptable and perfectly normal behaviour. Perhaps this is part of our automobile culture.
And as to myself, I always try to be on time.
Being a biker, I do not have much of a choice, do I? There is no excuse I can think of.
Besides – I do not think I find people not being on time so terrible.
Perhaps I even like them.
Here is a song by the Wise Guys I particularly like:
Ich schmeiß mein Auto auf den Müll